When will PropTech catch up with FinTech? The role of technology in commercial real estate
Super-fast lifts, security systems, doors with automatic facial recognition – technology is already changing commercial real estate. The ‘hard’ solutions are now being joined by PropTech, which will revolutionise the entire industry, including the way we work with clients. This is very good news for those looking for attractive office space in the future, even the near future.
From paper to AI
The real estate industry is still made of paper. Excel printouts and shelves full of documents prevail. As if we were in the 1990s. That is why, until recently, a client looking for space to rent had to wait an average of several days for a response. And this is also why the properties themselves are currently waiting more than a year to be re-rented. The REDD Index shows that offices wait exactly 371 days to be rented.
It was not until the REDD platform was introduced to the Polish market that a revolution occurred in the area of software.
– Technology in real estate is moving faster and faster into the realm of data. The era of agents defending their know-how at all costs to the detriment of the functioning of the industry is coming to an end. This is the major change – data that will enable you to find a place to operate more quickly – explains Piotr Smagała, Managing Director & Co-Founder, REDD.
The growing role of technology as an element supporting the work of real estate advisers is also forecast by Tomasz Buda from Savills, responsible for innovation at the company. He cites banking as an example of an industry that is at the other extreme of development in Poland in terms of the implementation of new technologies.
– FinTech has shown that it is possible to move almost an entire bank online. PropTech will do the same in our commercial real estate. I see our area becoming increasingly competitive and new methods of reaching clients, those digital ones, are being looked for – says Tomasz Buda of Savills.
First AI, then an agent
Just as with banks, people will not completely disappear from the real estate industry, but just as we no longer withdraw money at the counter in a branch, neither will commercial real estate be sought by sitting solely at an agent’s desk. People will be needed, but for something else.
– One thing will never change – information is the most important factor. Basic data on real estate should be publicly available and reach the client as soon as possible. The role of an agent is to enrich this information with their knowledge of the market and advise at the stage of selecting a particular venue to suit the needs of a given organisation. A machine can calculate a lot, but the human factor is still extremely important and such advice will invariably be valuable – says the Savills expert.
However, increasing data transparency is needed to move from competing in the area of knowledge to competing on customer service quality.
– We have a great deal to do in this area. We have several billion pieces of building data at our disposal. Artificial intelligence can analyse it repeatedly and quickly depending on the needs, but there are countries where such data is much easier to obtain. If we go further within this area, the revolution in the industry will happen much sooner – explains Piotr Smagała, Managing Director & Co-Founder, REDD.